Health board approves emergency planning contract

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees approved a contract for emergency planning services at its regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 18.

Roger Brock, health department administrator, reported that he has been working with Nancy Boyd, executive assistant, and Carol Landstad, public health program coordinator, to complete the budget for the department's regional public health emergency planning and preparedness contract.

In the past, the local health department had earmarked one-third of its emergency planning budget for an agreement with the Taney County Health Department. In return for the funds, Taney County provided the local health department with an emergency planner.

The Lawrence County Health Department also partnered with Taney County through a similar agreement. This year, Lawrence County opted out of the agreement and hired its own emergency planner, said Brock.

The Barry County Health Department has entered into a new agreement with Taney County. Under the new agreement, the neighboring health department will provide Barry County with emergency planning assistance for a smaller fee.

Brock reported that Christina Marcum, a Barry County Health Department breast feeding peer counselor, has volunteered to serve as the local health department's part-time emergency planner. Marcum has expressed interest in pursuing a degree in criminal justice, said Brock.

Marcum will be working as the health department's emergency planner 64 hours each month. She will take part in emergency planning training in her new part-time position. She will also continue to serve as a peer counselor.

Brock also reported on a project that will upgrade access and speed of access of computers at the Cassville and Monett health department offices. He is working with Mark Campbell, state computer technician, and Charlie Brown, of the Computer Shoppe in Cassville.

"We were experiencing slow log-ins, down time and multiple reboots and being kicked off the server often," said Brock.

The system-wide project will provide new passwords for each of the department's computers, upgrade the switch system on the server and provide other improvements that will enhance access and access speeds.

The board members voted to allow Brock to move forward with the upgrades. Brock is responsible for keeping track of labor and equipment costs.

In other business, the Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees:

* Approved the administrative report.

* Heard that the health department has entered into a memorandum of understanding agreement with OACAC for billing of blood lead testing for Head Start.

* Reviewed the monthly service fees, public health programs and service count numbers for both offices and county environmental services report.

* Heard that the health department has received a ham radio system for emergency services. The equipment was provided through a grant program.

* Adopted the 2011 tax levy rate, which will remain at the same level as last year. The rate is 0.0708.

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